Ryan Anthony Manning proposed on December 22, 2012 in the most perfect manner imaginable! We had been what I would describe as “best friends” for two and a half years and what Ryan would describe as “long-suffering pursuance,” before it hit me that I was madly in love with this man and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him! Over a big shared bowl of spaghetti at Mario’s Italian Cafe I gathered the courage to profess my reciprocating love for Ryan that I had almost let slip out for days as he, being overwhelmed, chewed his dinner with his head turned into his shoulder.
Two weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, he responded to my confident confession with a thoroughly thought-out scavenger hunt and a sushi dinner with my favorite Martinelli’s sparkling cider under an oak tree on the mountain-side. In October 2012 we got coordinating tattoos with two verses from one of our favorite songs covered by The Civil Wars, mine reading: You are my sunshine and his: my only sunshine.
After that, Ryan and I pursued our dream and launched our own photography business, Monocle Project, and through our passions and our hearts, my love for him grew even more everyday. I was anxious to join in the majesty of marriage with this man from the day I knew I loved him! I couldn’t wait for him to propose but refused to let my hope be deferred, especially granted that he pursued me diligently for the two and a half years prior.
We made a video of our love story here:
And now for how they asked: We had been dating for about eight months, and with Christmas approaching we were planning on taking a drive up the central coast to visit family and explore more of the ocean shores. My friend from CSU Fullerton, Cami, invited us to an early Christmas party at her home in Orange County that happened to work out perfectly for the first stop on our trip! Upon driving to Cami and her husband’s home, she called and asked is we could pick up the catering in Dana Point, which wasn’t far for us at all. With time to spare before the food was ready for pick-up, we walked the shore of Dana Point with my younger sister, Julieanna, whom had joyfully joined for the adventures. Having made it down to the mounds of deep green seaweed and mixtures of beach pebbles, Julieanna quickly started walking back towards the parking claiming she had to use the restroom, leaving Ryan and me alone with each other to watch the sunset.
I could tell Ryan was nervous because he was fiddling in his jacket pockets and making small talk about the sailboats–Ryan is one of the most poised and self-aware men I have ever known, who rarely shows interest in romantic small talk. After staring at me in the eyes and repeating gently that he loves me, Ryan dropped to one knee, and with brilliant words, peeling open a small, pebbled ring box from France, he spoke “Jasmin, will you be my bride?”
With a rush of joy like I’ve never known before, I exclaimed “Yes! Yes! A thousand-times yes!”
Ryan gave the ring it’s place on my left hand and I jumped in his arms as he rose to his feet. We had moments to rejoice in our splendor of joy together on the sea shore and he spun me around in his arms again, then asking me to look over his shoulder. I saw Julieanna standing there with a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider and the green-glass champagne glasses Ryan’s mother had gifted us. Standing beside her was Cami: also a wonderful professional photographer whom Ryan had hired to lure me to Dana Point with her invitation and capture our majestic proposal story.
Still being inspired with amazement and joy, we retreated to pray and rejoice in the intimacy of the ocean shore and filled our sparking cider bottle with the sand beneath our feet.
It was a glorious day that ended with a beautiful drive up the coast to celebrate further as well as many, many phone calls with cherished friends and family whom couldn’t be happier on our engagement. Ryan also shared with me how he initiated the courage to ask my dad before the proposal and many of the details and thoughts he vested in this wonderful event.
I awoke the next morning with a ring on my finger and a song playing on my heart–and even before I opened my eyes I could hear the overcoming message of Hillsong United’s Take Heart.
On May 4th, 2013 Ryan and I proclaimed our love and our vows on the mountaintops as we joined in marriage. My days with this man compose the greatest adventure that I have ever known.